After Vivian's first camping trip we were delighted to have all friends and family come from all over for her baby blessing. I know I'm partial, but I just couldn't get over how cute she looked in her stuff.
Later that week we took her to her first BYU football game, to watch the cougars essentially implode against USU. It was a night game, so she napped through most of it anyway. Here's a picture that her Uncle Neal thoughtfully snapped of us on his iphone while waiting outside the stadium for Justin to run back and get the tickets he had accidentally left in the car.
The next weekend we decided to get out and drive Nebo Loop to see the fall leaves. It was pretty spectacular. I think we would have been better off if we'd gone maybe the weekend before, but all the same, it was beautiful.
|I think the background here almost looks fake. |
Vivian loved it, she was just having a crabby moment.
The first night there, we arrived around six or seven, in the evening and quickly discovered that there was some sort of Jeep round-up going on out there. I vaguely remember Jared mentioning it, but it hadn't really sunk in how crowded it would be there. After hours of driving from one full campground to another, we stopped and said a prayer and returned to Moab to search for a hotel room. Every hotel there was full, but we pulled into a KOA just outside of town and found the last open campsite there, and though it wasn't at all what we'd had in mind for that evening, we were horribly grateful for it. We spent the night there, and then the next morning moved camp back up to a campground outside of Canyonlands.
Our first day in Arches we decided to tackle a long hike called Devil's Garden that takes you past 7 arches and one big monolith (which we ended up skipping). It was around 7 miles, but took us almost the entire day. A lot of the hiking was on slick rock, and I feel like I have to go very slow on that while carrying Vivian, to make sure I have good footing. One wrong move...and I have horrible images of me stumbling and slamming her head against the rock. So there's that, and then the part where we arrived at an area on the trail that had been flooded by recent rainstorms, leaving behind a small pond with a sheer rock wall on one side, and a very steep slippery, unsafe looking slab of slick rock on the other. It was possible to cross over on the slick rock, but way too risky to try it with a baby. So we were stuck there pondering our situation when a couple came up behind us. The man quickly scrambled across on the slick rock, and his girlfriend just stood there...petrified. Justin and I decided to explore another way around, and the girlfriend, Darcy, came along, but it was a lost cause and the three of us returned to the trail, and stood staring at the pond.
Finally, Justin decided to wade across and test the depth of the water. It wasn't too deep, so he came back and got Vivian, and I crossed over on the slick rock. In the meantime Darcy's boyfriend had tried everything from insulting her to attempting to order her to cross, and eventually he had given up and crossed back over and they were heading back up the trail the way they had come. They returned a few minutes later while we were still there. (Vivian was not for a second going to be replaced in the baby carrier without stopping for a food break, and Justin needed to let his feet dry.) Justin and I were trying to be encouraging to Darcy, because her boyfriend, who actually seemed like a relatively decent guy, didn't seem to have a clue how to encourage her across. So the conversation went something like this:
Boyfriend: What are you thinking Darcy?
Darcy: I don't know...
Boyfriend: What do you mean you don't know?
Darcy: I'm afraid that I'm going to fall.
Boyfriend: What's your priority here Darcy? Is it to not fall, or to see the arches?
Justin: My wife did it and she just had a baby, and has terrible balance.
Boyfriend: See Darcy, she did it and she just had a baby, and you're a college athlete!
Me: It looks way worse from where you're standing. It's really not that bad.
Boyfriend: What's it going to be Darcy, are you going up, or going in the drink?
She eventually did cross over the slick rock and was fine. We're still not sure what her aversion was to wading across the little pond. Either way, we lost probably at least an hour or so in that spot. The rest of the hike went much smoother, but it's still tiring dragging along an extra 13 pounds of dead weight, so by the end I was ready to be done.
The next morning we got up, packed up camp, and determined that we had time to only do one hike before we needed to head home so that Justin would be back in time to go to the BYU game that night. We decided to do the Delicate Arch hike. So we did, and it was cool, but it is annoyingly crowded.
After that we hustled home and got there in time for Justin to make it to the game.
|Double O Arch|
I thought that, and then on the way back to the campsite I told Justin that I thought we should detour over to the Delicate Arch overlook and catch a glimpse of that before the sun went down. We did, and we had to hustle. Justin took Vivian and we literally ran parts of that trail to get there before dark. Thankfully it was a short hike, and we did make it in time to get a few pictures.
|I never realized it was just out in the middle of a slab of slick rock like that. It really is amazing.|
We made it back down in time that we decided that we did have time for one more hike. So we went and hiked the window arches.
|The eyeglasses (North and South Window arches)|
That's been our last major outing. Although we did take time to go to a pumpkin patch this year. I've never been to one before...actually that's not true. I did go to one in kindergarten, and my entire memory of the experience consists of me enthusiastically telling my mom that we had gone to Pumpkin Land. Anyhow, we dressed Vivian up in some Halloween gear for the occasion and we went out and selected a pumpkin.
We wound up carving our pumpkin on Halloween afternoon, and ran short on time before we had to get to Salt Lake to pick Justin's dad up from the airport for a short visit over dinner that night. So our first jack-o-lantern was very uncreative. Better luck next year!
|Excited for this little outing.|
|Try as we might we could not get Vivian to tear her eyes away from a group of loud teenagers on the hay bales next to us.|
|She did seem genuinely captivated by the goats.|
This last weekend I returned for my first drill weekend since giving birth. I didn't love having to pawn Vivian off on my mom for the weekend, but she didn't mind and it seems like they got along. I truthfully kind of enjoyed being back with the company again, rather than stuck in the office shuffling papers and trying to believe myself when I said that it was okay that my maternity uniform needed to be switched out for a bigger size..again. So glad to be done with that!